The lawsuit is based on Montana’s state constitution, which enshrines the right to a clean and healthful environment.

by Marjorie Cohn, LA Progressive

In a case that could have far-reaching implications for the struggle against the climate crisis, the trial in a lawsuit brought by a group of youth plaintiffs will begin in Montana on June 12. Besides being the first such case about climate change to go to trial, Held v. Montana involves the specific impacts the climate crisis has on young people.

This trial is a bellwether for other cases throughout the United States. Mat dos Santos, general counsel for Our Children’s Trust, which represents the youth plaintiffs, said that the lawsuit “is not just about Montana. It’s really about the climate here in the United States and around the world.” If this suit is successful, it would be a “watershed moment” that could lead to a “cascade of legal victories around the country,” dos Santos added, and would likely have global implications.

Concerned students across Australia and around the world gather in protest for School Strike For Climate 2019.

In 2020, 16 youths who were then between 2 and 18 years of age filed a complaint against the State of Montana, its governor and other state officials. The Youth Plaintiffs, as they are referred to in the case, maintain that they have been and will continue to be harmed by the dangerous effects of fossil fuels and the climate crisis.

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